I had the great joy to meet Luciano Caravaggio recently. He is a retired gentleman living in a comfortable home in Abruzzo with his wife and son. Luciano is a self described “outlaw.” He loves motorcycles and art and is quick with a smile. He was a fantastically talented sculptor and I only use the term was because a lifelong eyesight disability has now made it too difficult to create new pieces. His spirit however is undiminished. I had the joy and privilege of seeing the many beautiful pieces he has at his home and over coffee I learned a little bit about his past.
From 1967 through 1971 Luciano worked at a foundry in Canada. It was during this time he saw the movie Easy Rider, and he says “It changed my life.” He loved the chopper style of motorcycle, and built his own from the ground up. He still has one handmade chopper that he built. A gleaming chrome beast that would elicit mummers of envy from any motorcycle lover.
Luciano’s love of motorcycles, especially Harley Davidson, has crossed over into his love of sculpture. He has many beautiful pieces, but one of the most impressive is a winged Harley chopper. It is carved from one of the large stones that are strewn about on the bed of the Sinello River that runs though the Chieti region of Abruzzo. Most of his pieces are created from this stone, although a few select pieces are from marble. This one, called Libertà is sculpted from the river stones from which so many of the homes in Abruzzo are constructed.
Just inside the main entrance to the house, is another amazing piece. It is Luciano’s recreation of Amore & Psiche by Antonio Canova. Luciano’s creation, titled simply Amore, is on the left.
The image below is the original Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss which is in the Louvre in Paris, France.
Over the course of the morning Luciano described many of the pieces in his house. He works amazingly fast. Some of the small pieces he told me he created in just just three or four days. The more elaborate ones of course took a good deal longer. If it were me, it would have taken three or four days just to get some of those big river boulders up from the valley below! It is incredible to be surrounded by this whirlwind of art. I would like to thank Luciano for generously agreeing to answer my many questions and take photos of his creations.
I close with one final gallery of photos I took of a number of the pieces in his collection. Click on any one of them to start the a slideshow. Oh, and to the right of the first photo, which is a sculpted rendition of the Twin Towers and the Statue of Liberty, that is in fact a sculpted stone speaker tower. 😎